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Background research can give you a general understanding of a topic. Your research also may bring up important questions about a subject that you can use to begin deeper research.


Benefits of background research:

  • Helps you understand your topic before you begin targeted research.
  • Gain familiarity with the terminology used.
  • Get an idea of how much information is available on your topic.
  • Identifies unresolved issues, controversies, and places where knowledge is incomplete.

In other words, conducting background research will help you identify anything that can lead to interesting questions about the topic that might lead to solid research questions. Keep in mind you generally do not cite background resources in your final projects. 

Adapted from Credo InfoLit Core Tutorial: Background Research Tips

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